Census 2013: a special report

11 Mar 2014

Summary: Every five years, Statistics New Zealand conducts the Census of Population and Dwellings. The most recent Census was scheduled to be held in 2011, but was not held until Tuesday 5 March 2013 due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. This is a full seven years after the previous Census held on Tuesday 7 March 2006.

New Zealanders were given the option of completing the 2013 Census forms online. Almost two million individual and dwelling forms were completed on this basis, or about 35 per cent of the total census forms submitted (over 5.6 million).

This report identifies and discusses four key trends based on Research New Zealand’s analysis of the 2013 Census data. Our analysis shows that the New Zealand population is:

  • Growing: New Zealand’s population is steadily growing. Between 2006 and 2013 it grew 5.3 percent to approximately 4.42 million. It is projected to be about 4.79 million by 2021.
  • Ageing: The median age of the New Zealand population is increasing and there is another mini baby boom on its way.
  • Becoming increasingly diverse: The New Zealand population is increasingly becoming diverse in terms of its ethnicity, place of birth and family structure.
  • Becoming increasingly regionalised: Over three-quarters of New Zealand’s population are located in the North Island. Between 2006 and 2013, the North Island experienced significantly greater growth than the South Island (5.8 percent and 3.8 percent respectively). The Auckland Region now accounts for almost one-third of the population (32.4 percent) and at 8.5 percent experienced the greatest inter-census growth of any region in the country.

The next census will take place in 2018.

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